Chapter Thirty

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Memories on the Wall

'Are you sure you're comfortable?'

'Yes, I am.' Eden grins up at me from the bed, her smile a deep contrast against the cuts and bruises still healing on her skin. 'Now, stop fussing and tell me what happened when I was gone. Why did Wesley look at you like that downstairs?'

I laugh, trying to ignore how my stomach flips at the mention of his name. I place her suitcase into the corner of the room and it drops with a big thud, and then glance over my shoulder at my devil-eyed friend.

'Look at me like what?' I ask innocently.

She widens her eyes lovingly. 'Like he was pining for you. Like you were his oxygen and without you he can't breathe. Like you – ouch!'

A pink pillow flops to the floor from where it hit her. I try not to burst into giggles at her look, keeping my face serious and impassive. No matter how hard I try, though, I know there's a glint in my eye.

'If you think I could tell you what's going on in that boy's brain,' I say, 'then you're clearly more concussed than the doctors thought.'

Eden pouts, but I ignore her as I turn around and draw the curtains. Afternoon light spills into the room, covering the shadows and making me squint. For a moment, I allow myself to look outside.

The fog is beginning to clear, but remnants still hang beneath the trees and through gaps of buildings. Leaves are almost non-existent now, but the ones that remain are gold and red, hanging onto branches by the thin of a thread.

The unluckier ones scatter along pavements, their edges sharp and pointy as they graze against the concrete. I hear their song from here, the hush of a child's lullaby, but rather than relishing in the moment I turn away and continue with the clean-up.

If I've learnt anything at Woodcreek, it's that time is a fickle thing and you must use it sparingly.

I feel Eden's eyes on me as I move, watching as I walk around straightening things that are already in place. I'm still half expecting this to all be a dream, that I'm going to wake up from one of Daisy's calls and the only thought I'll have of Woodcreek is: that was a funny dream.

Shaking my head at the thought, I turn to Eden's wardrobe and flip over her calendar so it's at the right month. October left us whilst she was in hospital and now it's early November. With it, it brings a bitter chill with the odd dwindling snowflake and frost.

Early in the morning, ice is caked into the pavements; it was only yesterday that Ellie slipped over and bruised her butt on the way to class – I still don't think I'll ever hear the end of it, or get rid of the image of her wet ass leaving an imprint on the desk chair.

I'm about to turn around when I freeze, something on the calendar catching my eye. I'd almost forgotten that Eden intricately plans every day, so it's no surprise that her entire schedule is written out before me.

There's the usual – 9am English, 1pm Psych, 5pm Library – but then there's Thursday. According my schedule, things should run the same way, except on hers it's wiped clean. There's nothing on there. No lessons, no tutor sessions – nothing.

That is, of course, apart from the letter A at 5:30pm.

I remember it from the first time I was in her room, and the questions that came to me then still come to me now. When I think about it, I never see Eden on Thursdays.

I thought it was just because we have a different class on that day – rather than our usual lectures, we have seminars affiliated with our dissertations.

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